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John J. "Jack" Smith

September 9, 1930 ~ March 10, 2022 (age 91)

Obituary

John "Jack" James Smith, age 91, passed away peacefully in his home in Fort Lauderdale surrounded by loving friends and family. Born in Chicago, Illinois to Ruby Alice Brady and John J. Smith Jack was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. Predeceased by his parents, he is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Suzan "Suzie" H. Smith. Jack was a true gentleman, a renaissance man. His wonderful dry sense of humor was enjoyed by all. Admired for his kind, giving nature Jack was punctual, fun and most of all loving to all who had the honor of knowing him.

Attending Florida Southern College in the 50’s Jack was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. President of his freshman class he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. Jack and his college roommate pooled their money to buy a new Harley Davidson, but when they realized they couldn’t afford a new motorcycle, they decided to buy an airplane instead. The plane was an old prop-driven plane that had been used by the US Army as an observer. He had been taking flying lessons from Lakeland Airport and fell in love with flying. Both men went on to have very successful careers in the aviation world.

After graduation Jack was drafted into the United States Army to serve during the Korean War where he served his country. Upon his discharge Jack was hired to fly for United Airlines. During his tenure with United Airlines, he applied to NASA for the space program. Ever diligent Jack worked to overcome any obstacles in his way including that of being a single man thus resulting in his proposal to Suzie. Although his astronaut dreams never came to fruition he flourished with United Airlines as a Captain for 31 years.

After retiring from United in the late 1980’s Jack and Suzie moved permanently to Fort Lauderdale and became active in the community as a member of The Royal Knights for Chivalry and The Humane Society of Broward County among others. Jack was always willing to give back to his community and frequently made generous donations such as funding the Patriots Plaza at Florida Southern College and the named donation of a kennel at The Humane Society of Broward County.

A true jazz aficionado Jack and Suzie enjoyed many a night out. Travel was a love that never faded, especially cruising on their MY “Carrot Top” and Holland American Cruise Lines. He was a true “Jack of all trades” as he had many successful careers in the real estate, automobile, and banking industries until the time of his passing. Jack was a prankster who always had a smile for everyone who spoke to him regardless of his health.

Services were held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Interment will be held in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, Illinois, on Saturday, March 19, 2020 at 11 a.m.

In Lieu of Flowers the family is requesting donations to Florida Southern College and Humane Society of Broward County.

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Services

Graveside Service
Saturday
March 19, 2022

11:00 AM
QUEEN OF HEAVEN CEMETERY
1400 S. WOLF RD.
HILLSIDE, IL 60162

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